USPS Is Making More Changes to Your Mail, Starting May 12
The postal agency's new plans include a significant price hike.
Customers are used to adjusting to changes from the U.S. Postal Service (USPS). Maybe you've experienced this locally after having your service suspended for hazardous weather conditions. Or perhaps you've noticed more widespread changes, like the USPS raising mail prices and slowing delivery standards nationwide over the last few years. Now, the agency is adding more changes to its schedule, and while some are positive, there is yet another price hike ahead. Read on to find out what you should prepare for.
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The USPS has already been making changes in 2023.
The new year started off with several postal changes. Back in January, the USPS raised prices for mail products, shipping services, and P.O. Boxes, and also discontinued certain mailing options like the Regional Rate Box.
In March, customers saw the agency implement new rules for shipping packages to Europe, requiring them to include more detailed descriptions on customs forms.
That same month, the Postal Service started updating Forever Stamp designs for customers. A new stamp collection to honor the late novelist Toni Morrison was released on March 7, while an Art of the Skateboard series was rolled out for customers to purchase on March 24. Most recently, the USPS introduced a new Tulip Blossoms Stamps collection to celebrate the spring season on April 5.
Now, the agency is planning to introduce more new stamps, alongside other major changes.
Another stamp is being rolled out next month.
Customers can expect to see more updated Forever Stamp designs in the coming weeks. Through an April 6 press release, the USPS announced that it would be honoring Chief Standing Bear with a new stamp.
"In 1879, Standing Bear won a landmark court ruling that determined a Native American was a person under the law with an inherent right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness," the USPS explained in its release.
The stamp was designed by art director Derry Noyes. It will feature a portrait of Standing Bear that was done by illustrator Thomas Blackshear II, and based on a photograph taken of the chief in 1877 while he was in Washington, D.C.
The Postal Service is hosting a dedication ceremony to introduce the new series on May 12 at the Centennial Mall in Lincoln, Nebraska.
But while you might be excited about another stamp option, you should be aware of less pleasant changes on the horizon.
The agency is planning to raise prices again this summer.
The new stamp could soon cost you more.
In an April 10 press release, the USPS revealed that it had filed notice with the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) of plans for a price hike this summer. The agency has proposed an approximately 5.4 percent increase of First-Class Mail prices, which would include a three-cent hike for the cost of the Forever Stamp from 63 cents to 66 cents.
This change is set to affect several mailing services, according to the USPS. Costs for customers will rise to 63 cents for 1-ounce metered mail, 51 cents for domestic postcards, and $1.50 for 1-ounce letters or postcards being mailed to another country.
"There will be no change to the single-piece letter and flat additional-ounce price, which remains at 24 cents," the Postal Service noted.
If favorably reviewed by the PRC, these new prices are scheduled to take effect starting July 9.
Price hikes have become common for the Postal Service.
The USPS has been consistently raising prices since it unveiled its Delivering for America (DFA) initiative in 2021. This 10-year plan was created with the goal of helping the Postal Service achieve financial sustainability, starting with the first DFA-based price hike in August of that year.
The USPS raised prices again in July 2022, and another price hike hit in January.
According to the Postal Service, price adjustments are expected to occur twice every year during its 10-year initiative—once in January and again in July, as we are seeing in 2023.
In its press release for the upcoming hike, the USPS said the latest increase is also meant to help "offset the rise in inflation" that we've seen over the past year.
"As operating expenses fueled by inflation continue to rise and the effects of a previously defective pricing model are still being felt, these price adjustments are needed to provide the Postal Service with much needed revenue to achieve the financial stability sought by its Delivering for America 10-year plan," the agency explained. "The prices of the U.S. Postal Service remain among the most affordable in the world."
- Source: https://about.usps.com/newsroom/national-releases/2023/0406ma-usps-honors-chief-standing-bear.htm
- Source: https://about.usps.com/newsroom/national-releases/2023/0410-usps-files-notice-with-prc-for-new-mailing-services-pricing.htm
- Source: https://about.usps.com/what/strategic-plans/delivering-for-america/
- Source: https://about.usps.com/newsroom/statements/091521-new-market-dominant-price-adjustment-schedule.htm